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Philip Parsons Young Playwrights' Award
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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The Philip Parsons Young Playwrights' Award is an Australian annual award, established in 1996, given to 'to a playwright whose work demonstrates an original and compelling theatrical voice'. Recipients of the award must have been under the age of 35 years and a resident of New South Wales.

The award was presented as part of the Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture, given annually at Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney. The winner was selected on the basis of a completed and produced script and an outline for another work. The winner received a full commission from Belvoir to develop their outline into a full play.

The award was named in honour of Dr Philip Parsons AM (1926-1993) who was a co-founder, with Katharine Brisbane, of the performing arts publishing company, Currency Press, and 'an influential teacher and mentor to many of the students, scholars, actors, directors and playwrights who created the new wave of Australian theatre in the 1970s.'

The award was replaced in 2013 by the NSW Philip Parsons Fellowship for Emerging Playwrights.

Source: Sighted 10/12/2013.


  • The Philip Parsons Young Playwrights Award commemorates the life work of Dr Philip Parsons, AM (1926-1993). The Award is made each year to a young playwright under the age of 35.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2019

Year: 2017

joint winner Lynne Bradley
joint winner David Joseph

Year: 2015

Year: 2012

Heaven Kit Brookman , 2011 single work drama 'When Angela Farnsworth is run over by a bakery van and killed after walking home from school one day, the world starts to look very different to Max. Death seems just around the corner, and whatever it is that comes after becomes a terrifying mystery. So, despite the scepticism of his friends, Max decides to ask the only person he knows who might be able to shed some light on the whole mystery of the universe. Summoning the dead can have unforeseen consequences. "Heaven" is a bittersweet comedy about death, growing up, and the perils of becoming an amateur medium.' Source: (Sighted 03/12/2012).
winner Neal Harvey

Year: 2009

joint winner Caleb Lewis Awarded jointly with Tahli Corin.
joint winner Tahli Corin Awarded jointly with Caleb Lewis.

Works About this Award

Literary Works Not Sacred : Upton Tim Douglas , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 3 December 2012; (p. 3)
'The 2012 annual Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture "The Resonating Space" delivered by Andrew Upton discusses how theatre must evolve with our culture and live in a contemporary context. "Theatre exists in the present," Upton emphasises. "While theatre has a profound history and ties to our shared culture, it's not a bookish history. It's more important to tell stories for today's audience than to be faithful to history. When adapting a script I choose language that speaks to our contemporary audience, but that resonates with the history of the play. Theatre is 'a monster that forgets' as Dion Boucicault wept. It is a resonating space that must be re-tuned by every generation and then played on human gut strings that link us all the way back to the caves."' Source: (Sighted 03/12/2012).
Playwright Opts for Credibility over Cash Adam Fulton , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 15 March 2010; (p. 10)
Adam Fulton reports on Caleb Lewis's decision to maintain his stand in rejecting his win in the 2009 Philip Parsons Young Playwright's Award. Lewis made his decision to withdraw from the competition in protest at the lack of women writers and directors in the 2010 Belvoir St program.
Belvoir Brouhaha Ian Cuthbertson , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 8 December 2009; (p. 14)
Award Finalist Withdraws in Protest Adam Fulton , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 30 November 2009; (p. 16)
Caleb Lewis was a finalist for the 2009 Philip Parsons Young Playwright's Award but he has withdrawn from the award in protest, because he 'has lost faith in the judges' ability to be free of bias'.
Accolade for Can-Do Writer 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Daily Telegraph , 18 November 2008; (p. 31)